Feature photo by: Octopi
The 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship went to Mount Morris, Pennsylvania’s High Point Raceway for round number four and the High Point National, and it was Monster Energy / Kawasaki taking the wins in both classes. Both Eli Tomac (3-2 in 450MX) and Adam Cianciarulo (2-1 in 250MX) put their Kawasaki’s on the top step of the podium and both left with the red plate in hand..
AC was joined on the 250MX podium by two GEICO / Honda’s with Hunter Lawrence—who won his first-ever moto in moto 1—on the 2nd step of the podium and Chase Sexton in 3rd. High Point marked AC’s fourth win in a row to start the 2019 season.
On the 450MX podium with Tomac was HRC / Honda’s Ken Roczen in 2nd and Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Jason Anderson in 3rd. At the next round in Florida with both Roczen and Tomac tied with 176 points, both will have the red plate on their machines.
Check out some quotes from the podium finishers and quite a few other riders from round four.
Eli Tomac: (1st in 450MX) “In racing a win is a win and although today wasn’t the prettiest win, we will take it. In both motos we were a bit buried off the start and between the race lines and lappers, it made it difficult to go forward. I was disappointed with my tip over in Moto 1 because I felt like we had what we needed to move into first but that obviously set us back. I am proud of the fight we showed today and that we are leaving here today tied for the championship. I am excited for next week’s event at WW Ranch, I had a good time when we raced the GP there in ’17 and I usually just enjoy racing anytime we get to go at it in the sand!”
Adam Cianciarulo: (1st in 250MX) “I got really lucky in the first moto because I spun out of the gate and had to seriously thread the needle in the first turn to try and stay at the front. The track was very tough and I tried to be patient. Coming to the races now compared to the past feels so different. It’s just a whole new vibe. For the first time I really believe in myself. When you hit rock bottom it’s tough but I have so many great people around me. I just would never have thought that I would go four in a row”
Ken Roczen: (2nd in 450MX) “I’m glad we left today on a high note. I had a new setup in Florida and unfortunately with the weather, I’ve only been able to put a very short amount of time on it, and that’s what I started with here today. I struggled all morning with it. Going into the first moto, we went back to my Colorado setting, except with some clicker changes I’ve been running at home. However, that didn’t work for me at all. I wasn’t riding well and just went backwards in the first moto. For the second moto, I just went back to our full Colorado setup, and it was nice to see that we have a very solid base that I can go back to. I just knew exactly what the bike was going to do, and we had an incredible moto. I came from far behind after a bad start and came away with a moto win and second on the podium. It was pretty huge.”
Hunter Lawrence: (2nd in 250MX) “I was pumped on that, had an awesome start and made two passes in the same spot to get the lead. I was smiling, but the last three laps were so hard, everything and anything runs through your mind. I think it’s unhuman if you don’t—it’s the first time, I’m so stoked, you think of the team, you think of everything. I spent maybe three seconds a lap thinking about all of that stuff, but then you have to focus back on the job. Second moto, believe me, I was wanting to win it, but the start wasn’t as stellar as the first one, and I took too long to get around Colt [Nichols]. Would have loved to have won the overall, but the moto win is a huge step for me so I’ll take it.”
Chase Sexton: (3rd in 250MX) “Even before today I felt like I was very capable of this, capable of winning motos, just needed to get a better start. I was finally able to do that, I was right behind Adam [Cianciarulo, race winner]. He crushed his start. It was kind of like that the whole race, I was trying everything I could do to get around him. The track was gnarly—we raced second today and the track was really beat up. I felt good all day, was fastest in qualifying. This is definitely where I want to be every week, up front and battling for the win, so this is definitely progress. I really want to win one of these, though”
Jason Anderson: (3rd in 450MX) “My weekend was good, I came really close to winning my first overall. I got pretty good starts today and I’m happy with the way I rode. I’m getting better every weekend and getting closer to the win.”
Cooper Webb: (4th in 450MX) “Today at High Point was a much better day and a huge turnaround for me. My starts were great all day and I made a few mistakes but I was happy to battle up front like I did. I even lead the second moto for about 20 minutes – I haven’t been able to do that so far this season, so that was awesome. Fourth is my best overall, so it was a good weekend and I’ll keep building from here.”
Zach Osborne: (5th in 450MX) “Overall, it was a pretty positive day, we made some good changes to the bike during the week off and they translated to be good today. I just need to improve on my first couple of laps, I have the fitness down on the final stretch, so I feel like I’m in a good position moving forward. I have some good tracks coming up – this was a good track for me but I just didn’t make it happen, I was only able to muster up a 5-4 so overall a good a good day, strong points and we’ll just keep trucking.”
Dylan Ferrandis: (4th in 250MX) “I didn’t feel comfortable on the bike for the first moto. I was struggling a little bit, but still managed to finish third. In the second moto, we changed my bike setup and it was way better, but my start was not the best and I got stuck in fifth position for a long time. I had to give everything I had to finish fourth, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to finish on the box this weekend. Now onto the next round in Jacksonville.”
Marvin Musquin: (6th in 450MX) “It was a tough day. I was feeling great but unfortunately, I didn’t have a good start in the first moto and I couldn’t make good passes right away, so I lost a bunch of time in the first few laps. In the second moto, I went around the outside off the start and was really aggressive and ran into the back of another guy. I was dead last and came back to seventh, so it’s very disappointing because I love that track and I felt pretty good but when you crash on the start there’s nothing you can do. The top six riders were up front and the gap was just too big to catch them.”
Colt Nichols: (5th in 250SX) “The bike was awesome today, but the track was very challenging. It was really bumpy, a lot of ruts and that made it difficult to stay consistent. Overall, though, it was a good day. I pulled two really good starts. I was happy to lead some laps in the second moto, just happened to be a fifth-place guy today. We made a lot of really good improvements and we are making progress, so I can’t complain.””
Joey Savatgy: (8th in 450MX) “Today was a big step in the right direction. After Thunder Valley, I put a solid week of testing with my Monster Energy Kawasaki crew in California and continued to do my work in Florida this past week and I believe the results showed. Because of my injury, I am still racing back into shape, but man I am stoked with how today went. My KX450 was a rocket ship; I got a second place start in Moto 1 and the holeshot in Moto 2. I can’t thank my team enough for all of the hard work over the past two weeks to get me comfortable on the bike. I am looking forward to the new venue next week at WW Ranch as it is close to home for me.”
Justin Barcia: (10th in 450MX) “Not the day we wanted, obviously. I struggled a bit getting comfortable with the setup and things like that. We definitely are going to work hard and try to figure it out to be really good for Jacksonville. On a positive note, I had a really good start in the second moto I. I just didn’t have a good, comfortable feeling today overall. We’ve got to regroup and put the not-so-great finishes behind us and move forward into next weekend. I believe that we’ll figure out how to get that comfort and when the time is right, we’ll be right there. All in all, not the best day, but a few positives to take out of it. We have to do a lot of work to get where we want to be.”
RJ Hampshire: (6th in 250MX) “Had a hard crash Thursday, literally a lap and a half left before I was done for the week. Hit my head and banged up my arm. No excuses though, just didn’t have it all day. Felt off from the time I woke up. My starts weren’t that good at all and it took me awhile to get going. Passed a lot of guys but was still not close to the speed I should have been. I’ll be better next weekend and turn this thing around”
Michael Mosiman: (8th in 250MX) “I wouldn’t say it was a bad day. I felt like I rode really well but the problem was that I had to come through the pack in both motos. My starts were not good today but I came back to finish both motos inside the top-10 and I know I have the speed to run the pace of the leaders.”
Justin Cooper: (9th in 250MX) “Overall, we just struggled today. The track was different and technical. I just couldn’t seem to find my flow all day. It was one of those weekends that you have to learn from and move forward. I can’t wait for next weekend. We will move forward from here and get back to where we belong.”
Dean Ferris: (11th in 450MX) “Today I qualified twelfth and went 11-11, so I guess that’s where I belonged at the moment. I really struggled to go with the faster guys, which was kind of disappointing for me as I went so well here three years ago. We’ll keep trucking forward and keep trying to improve.””
Alex Martin: (11th in 250MX) “The speed was there, but bad starts held me back. I was looking forward to High Point. It’s one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. I wasn’t able to get off the line and put myself in a good position. I was eating roost all day and passing people.”
Martin Davalos: (12th in 250MX) “The weekend was definitely better than the last round and I think we can do even better as the season moves forward. I am looking forward to the round in Florida and see if familiar territory will help me break into the top 10.”
Mitchell Oldenburg: (15th in 250MX) “Today was a tough welcome back to the outdoors. The first moto was pretty decent. I was pretty happy with 10th overall for not racing in two years, but in the second moto, I was kind of in the mid-pack group. I made a little mistake with about four or five laps to go and tipped over. I’ve got a lot to work on, a lot to improve on this week, but I’m just excited to get back to racing. I’m looking to come out swinging next weekend in Florida.”
Kyle Peters: (17th in 250MX) “I was looking forward to High Point after recovering from a lingering lower back injury at Pala. I had some good moments, but then I jammed my knee in the first turn of the second moto. It was damage control after that.”
Jordan Bailey: (18th in 250MX) “We had a little bit of an issue in Moto 1 and didn’t get to finish. We changed everything on the bike and we made it for the second moto, which I’m thankful about. We rode better, made some passes and overall it was a step in the right direction. Thanks to everyone who got my bike ready for the second moto. I’m looking forward to WW Ranch in my home state of Florida next round!”
Ty Masterpool : (19th in 250MX) “We went through a lot of adversity today. I went down in the first moto, which was a bummer, but I’m gaining experience. I’m looking forward to building on it next weekend in Florida.”
Christian Craig: (DNS in 250MX) “I had an awesome couple weeks coming into High Point and was looking forward to making many improvements from Thunder Valley. Unfortunately I went down in the first practice really hard. I tried to tough it out and go out for second practice but I knew after a lap it wasn’t going to happen. I’m just banged up but again, disappointed. This year has not been good for me but I will get it turned around.”
Kyle Chisholm: (21st in 450MX) “I had a rough day. With only being on the bike for a couple of days and not quite as ready as I would have liked, because the fill-in ride happened so suddenly, I struggled. I had a hard time with the track. High Point is historically a difficult track for me. I definitely know that I can do better. The team worked hard and did a great job in getting me as comfortable as I could be. We have a plan to get the bike set up a little more for me this week, and I will do all I can to finish up where I belong at this next race in Florida.”